As part of efforts to provide relevant and up-to-date information on drugs and pharmaceutical developments to students and staff, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Ilorin, has concluded plans to establish an ultramodern Drug Information Centre.
Disclosing this in an interview with Pharmanews recently, Acting Dean of the faculty, Dr Mohammed Amali, stated that the project, when completed, will serve multipurpose functions for the faculty and ultimately contribute immensely to the advancement of the pharma industry.
Amali, an alumnus of the University of Liverpool, UK, noted that the faculty is working hard to be the leader in the training of pharmacist in the country, stressing that the faculty will not relent in its commitment to producing competent personnel that will continue to serve the needs of the pharmaceutical sector.
In his words: “The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences University of Ilorin is continuously striving to be a leader among its peers in the training of pharmacists and development of the pharmacy profession. As a result, the faculty is among the six faculties of pharmacy in Nigeria that have adopted the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum for the training of pharmacists.
“The faculty is also at the terminal stages of the establishment of an ultramodern Drug Information Centre, which will double as a resource centre for staff, students and the wider community. The potentials of this centre may also extend to pharmacovigilance and thus cannot be understated. The computerisation of some laboratory functions in pharmaceutics is also ongoing”
The erudite pharmacologist added: “It is the desire of all of us at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences here in Ilorin and also all of us at the University of Ilorin to produce pharmacists that can hold their heads high among their peers. I desire our graduates to be able to deliver standard healthcare services wherever they may find themselves, either here in Nigeria or abroad. It fills me with joy to say that as I speak, none of our graduates has been found wanting in the discharge of their duties so far.”
Amali further revealed that the advent of COVID 19 has brought about some ingenious concepts in the faculty and the institution as a whole, adding that the institution will take advantage of every opportunity during the pandemic period to attain greater heights.
According to him: “The advent of COVID-19 has also brought about some innovative concepts, though the pandemic has also exposed the shortfalls in the local pharmaceutical drug development and manufacturing sectors. The faculty has within this period tried to take advantage of the different opportunities offered by the federal government to try to enhance local production. The major drawback has been the paucity of funds to execute the proposed projects.
“Most recently, there has been an initiative by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) to develop and improve the manufacturing of consumables for the prevention of COVID-19 infection in Nigerian universities. We, as a faculty, are currently in discussion with the university management on the modalities on how to take advantage of this initiative. This is to enable us undertake full scale drug production in addition to hand sanitizer production.”
The acting dean also disclosed that many research works are being conducted by staff of the different departments in the faculty, noting that the outcome of the studies will contribute immensely to the pharmacy profession, adding that some of the research works have been funded by different granting agencies.
According to Amali, the studies that staff of the faculty are conducting include “The characterisation of drug hypersensitivity reactions in patients taking some beta lactam antibiotics and anticonvulsant drugs.”
He added: “Studies on the influence of selected host genetic factors on the pharmacokinetics of nevirapine in HIV-infected adult Nigerian patients is also being carried out in the department of Pharmaceutical chemistry. Research is also being conducted to develop new drug delivery platforms, dosage designs and formulations in the department of Pharmaceutical Technology.
“The faculty is also working closely with the African Centre for Herbal Research and Innovation (ACHRI), based in Ilorin, on identifying and assessing the efficacy of plants with medicinal potential.”